By DeVry University
Whether you’re navigating short- or long-term e-learning or transitioning to homeschooling, it’s important to find a groove in your new routine. For most parents, that means balancing work, meal planning, handling household duties – and now teaching. You may even be a college student trying to stay on top of your own studies as well.
While this may seem a bit overwhelming at first, remember that it’s all manageable. In fact, extended e-learning shares many similarities with homeschooling. Whether your kids are finishing their first year of preschool or their last year of high school, we’ve compiled some ideas on how to homeschool that can help them keep stay on track.
Here are twelve tips for homeschooling to help you stay on track and keep your schedule running smoothly:
Here are twelve tips for homeschooling to help you manage your new responsibilities:
1. Create Your Own Schedule
One of the best parts about homeschooling is that you don’t have to be confined to a specific routine. Be flexible and you’ll soon figure out a schedule that works best for your family. Feel free to plan around your mealtimes, work schedule or even your kid’s favorite TV program.
2. Designate a Study Space
If possible, try to find a place in your home that you can dedicate specifically for studying, suggests NPR. Separating your living spaces from your learning space is an easy way to get your kids to change gears when it’s time to focus.
3. Set Reasonable Goals and Expectations
This is one of the most important tips for homeschooling. If your child is struggling to stay motivated or getting frustrated with their schoolwork, take a minute to evaluate the expectations that have been set for them. Remember that each child learns differently. Talk with your child and their teacher and determine a plan that works best for everyone.
4. Be Patient
While you're used to powering through multiple tasks in a day, it's important to consider that the rate at which your child learns may be different from yours or from other children. When assisting with schoolwork, try to let your child guide the pace for learning.
5. Set Aside Time for Creativity and Exercise
Play time, creativity and exercise can be just as important as learning. Set aside a little time each day to do something creative, exercise or go outdoors.
6. Stay Connected with Teachers
If your kids are e-learning through a public or private school, their teachers are just an email away. Don't be afraid to reach out when your child needs a little extra help, encouragement or clarification on an assignment, suggests K12.
7. Lean on the Experts
Let's be honest – we're all a little rusty on our math skills. If you’re struggling with how to homeschool on a certain topic, know that there are an abundance of free online resources that can help.
8. Save Time for Lunch
Mealtime can be something that gets easily overlooked or rushed, but doing so could potentially make things harder for you in the long run. Set aside at least 30 minutes for lunch, and be sure to serve healthy, filling foods to help curb hunger and avoid the need for more afternoon snack breaks.
9. Set Limits on Electronics
Online learning can mean spending more time on devices. When you stack the time they spend on the computer or tablet for school with their regular usage it can add up to an awful lot of screen time. Take a look at your kid’s daily activity, and make sure to set a reasonable limit.
10. Consider Offering Rewards
Consider offering small rewards to encourage participation and completion of assignments, suggests K12. Incentives such as an at-home movie night, one-on-one parent/child time or family game night are great options.
11. Add Life Skills to Your Curriculum
Don't forget the value of teaching some basic life skills. Now can be a great opportunity for older kids and teens to help with everyday tasks such as cleaning, doing the laundry or cooking. Younger kids can help with tidying up or you can use this time to practice personal care skills like fastening buttons and tying shoes. These types of learning can be just as valuable as skills taught in the classroom.
12. Give Yourself a Break
Despite how you may feel, chances are you're doing a much better job than you realize. Don't forget to schedule a little time each day for yourself – even if that means waiting until the kids have gone to bed or allowing them to have a little extra TV time.
Putting even just a few of these tips for homeschooling into practice is a great first step towards finding balance in your routine. With a little patience and creativity, we're sure you’ll learn how to homeschool in a way that works for you and your family.